Libya remains the only North African team never to have qualified for the finals of the FIFA World Cup™, their best chance coming in 1986 when they reached the fourth and final round only to lose 3-1 on aggregate over two matches to Morocco. In the qualifiers for South Africa 2010 they failed to progress beyond the second round, finishing third in Group E behind qualifiers Ghana and Gabon.
The current crop
Libya is making steady progress in its current qualifying campaign for the 2012 CAF Africa Cup of Nations, where they occupy second spot in Group C just one point behind leaders Zambia. After recording two wins and two draws from their first four games, their chances of qualification look promising, with respective home-and-away fixtures against third-placed Mozambique and Zambia still ahead of them.
The key players
Irish-born striker Eamon Zayed, who represented Republic of Ireland at the 2003 FIFA U-20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, has been one of the side’s most exciting additions of recent years, and much is expected of him. Two others to look out for are midfielder Djamal Mohamed, who plies his trade with Portuguese outfit S.C. Beira-Mar, and Younes Al Shibani, a defender with Tripoli-based club Al Ittihad.
Coach: Marcos Paqueta
Best performance in a FIFA competition: None
Former stars: Mukhtar Ghounay, Ali Zantouni, Al Saedi Al Gaddafi